Baton Rouge bass

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Baton Rouge bass

Postby noahvale » Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:51 am

I am constantly humbled by a lot of bassists from here in Baton Rouge. I was lucky to see Julius Farmer several times with Dr. John. He career was long and prolific in the New Orleans recording scene. Long before I moved here, I heard Randy Jackson played dozens of gigs a month from early in high school. Friends who went to school with him said he was great even as a teenager. A lot of the Baton Rouge and New Orleans musicians when to school at Southern University here. Dr. Alvin Batiste runs the music school there. The list of musicians that went there is long, some of the notables are Winton and Branford Marsales, Julias Farmer, and Mark Whitfield.
The Raful Neal family has some of the best bassists anywhere. Raful was a harmonica player and singer who was asked to come to Chicago by Chess Records. He went briefly, but came home to raise his family. He passed away a couple of years ago. Raful made all of his kids play bass first. His band was always the Neal Brothers Band. The first bassist was Kenny, the oldest son. Kenny left home at 18 to play bass for Buddy Guy, who is also from Baton Rouge. His dad went to Chicago and made him come back home, but let him go back when he saw how much he wanted it. Kenny went on to play guitar and has recorded a dozen or so albums. The next oldest brother is Noel. He left at 18 to play with Buddy too. He played for many years with James Cotton in his prime. That's Noel on Cotton's Superharp Live. Noel is still smoking good. He plays some with his brother Lil' Ray Neal, who is the next oldest. Ray is one of my favorite guitar players. He toured as lead guitar for Bobby Blue Bland for years. B.B. King asked him to join his band, but Ray wanted to come home to raise his family. The youngest bass player, Darnell, plays in Kenny's band. I've been watching Darnell since he was in high school. He was good then. Seeing him live now is jaw dropping. I found this video on youtube, check it out. He's sat in on some of my gigs, talk about humbling...



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Postby Simpleman » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:23 am

WOW that kicked ASS!!!! Thanks for posting that.
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Re: Baton Rouge bass

Postby noahvale » Fri May 15, 2009 2:52 am

I just added the second clip. Badass for sure. I guess that is the definition of "over the top" bass playing, they all do that.. That bass is Kenny's old bass, which was given to him by Buddy Guy in the late sixties. I've sat in and played that bass a bunch of times. Like most Neal Bros basses, it has passive Bartolini pickups in it. That includes Noel's '60 jazz..
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Re: Baton Rouge bass

Postby nolabass » Sun Aug 30, 2009 1:24 pm

Smokin drummer too. [smilie=music-smiley-005.gif] I need to get out more. Too much amazing music in our back yards to miss.
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Re: Baton Rouge bass

Postby noahvale » Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:15 pm

Ok I just found a reason to revive this old thread. The funkiest band ever out of Baton Rouge has re-grouped and are putting out a new album.
Several videos are linked on their FB page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Func-Haus/141710859197349
Mark Pero is the long time bassist in Papa Gros Funk. He and Terence moved to N.O. from B.R. Terence Higgins is now the drummer for the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

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